Lt. Colonel Parker Ewan Connor, Jr.
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Lt. Colonel Parker Ewan Connor, Jr., 95, of Greenville, SC, formerly of Edisto Island, SC, renowned Low Country camellia enthusiast and husband of the late Amy Wilkinson Sadler Connor, died on June 26th, 2013.
Col. Connor was born on January 4, 1918, in Charleston, South Carolina, son of the late Parker Ewan Connor, Sr. and Esther Marion Seabrook Connor. He grew up on the historic family plantation, Oak Island, located on Edisto Island and graduated with a BA in History from Davidson College in 1939 where he was a member of Phi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. That same year he received a Regular Army Commission and began a distinguished career as an officer that lasted until he retired after 29 years. His military service included two tours of duty in Germany, one in Korea, one at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and assignments as Professor of Military Science at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, as well as Saint Lawrence University in Canton, New York where he served as Director of the ROTC program for many years. In 1968, Col. Connor became the Executive Director of the Consulting Engineers Council of Virginia, a position he held until retiring to Edisto Island in 1976. There he and his wife Amy began work on the restoration of Oak Island, the beautiful antebellum plantation home built by his great-great grandfather, William E. Seabrook, in 1828. The house was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. Col. Connor was an enthusiastic and dedicated hobbyist who especially enjoyed stamps and Marklin model railroading before he turned to antiquing, furniture refinishing and duck decoy collecting. A life-long, ardent sportsman, he also enjoyed golf, hunting and and fishing. Always an active gardener, Col. Connor turned that particular hobby into a specialty when he began to grow camellias in the gardens surrounding Oak Island. He became active in the Coastal Carolina Camellia Society and within a few years his blooms were winning prizes at shows throughout the southeast. His reputation for propagating the beautiful flowers grew to be legendary and he continued to attend shows in the state even after he left Oak Island and moved to a retirement community in Greenville, South Carolina where he spent the last years of his life. Col. Connor was an active member of two fraternal organizations, the Rotary Club in Richmond, Virginia, as well as the Lion's Club on Edisto Island, and he was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church on Edisto Island.
Col. Connor is survived by three children, Katherine van Bakergem of St. Louis, Missouri, Amy Byrd of Charlottesville, Virginia, and Parker Connor, III of Greenville, South Carolina. He has six grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
The relatives and friends of Lt. Colonel Parker Connor, Jr. are invited to attend his Funeral Service on Monday, July 1, 2013 in the Presbyterian Church on Edisto Island, 2164 Hwy 174, Edisto Island at 2:00 pm. Burial will follow in the churchyard with full military honors. Arrangements by J. HENRY STUHR, INC., MOUNT PLEASANT CHAPEL. The family will receive friends in the church immediately following the services.
Memorials may be made to the Coastal Carolina Camellia Society, c/o Jerry Weise, 1507 Lorenzo Street, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 or the Presbyterian Church on Edisto Island, 2164 Hwy 174, Edisto Island, SC 29438.
A memorial message may be sent to the family by visiting our website at www.jhenrystuhr.com.
J. Henry Stuhr Mount Pleasant Chapel
1494 Mathis Ferry Road
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
Published in The Greenville News from June 29 to June 30, 2013